Record funds for hospice from annual garden party

Blue skies and sunshine after a week of rain set the seal on the most successful garden party ever for Berkhamsted charity The Hospice of St Francis.

Crowds in their droves flocked to the important event in its fundraising calendar, which took place on Sunday in the beautiful grounds of Ashridge House.

Ashridge Garden Party. Photo courtesy of Andrew Garner from Visualimpact

Ashridge Garden Party. Photo courtesy of Andrew Garner from Visualimpact

Once sponsorship from legal firm DAC Beachcroft was taken into account, around £25,000 was raised from the good cause from the garden party.

The hospice, which supports people living with life-shortening illnesses across Herts and Bucks, relies on voluntary donations for 80 per cent of its £4.7m a year running costs.

Garden party organiser Sarah Ajder said: “It’s just been an overwhelming success. We think we had over 3,000 visitors and more stalls than ever before. It’s fantastic to see so many supporters enjoying themselves in a beautiful setting on such a gorgeous day. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

The event included Pimms, cream teas, hot barbecue lunches, live music from the Jolly Jazzers and the D’Ukes of Ashridge. There was children’s entertainment from Punch & Judy and circus skills workshops and a traditional flea circus and face painting.

Ashridge Garden Party

Ashridge Garden Party

There were more stalls offering a wider variety than ever before too from handmade crafts, jewellery and fashion and home accessories to speciality food and drink, gifts and plants.

Head of community fundraising Harriet Karia said: “It was so lovely to see people enjoying themselves so much and raising money for us at the same time.

“My favourite bit was hearing a little boy saying to his parents: ‘This has been the best day ever, can we come back tomorrow?’”

First five photos courtesy of Andrew Garner from Visual Impact